The Most Underrated Leadership Tool

The Most Underrated Leadership Tool

In the realm of leadership, there’s a powerful yet underrated tool that often goes overlooked: the breath.

Recently, while listening to a podcast featuring Jennifer Garvey Berger, she made a profound statement: “Breath is the most underrated leadership tool in the world.” This struck a chord with me because it’s true – the breath serves as a crucial pause between stimulus and response, allowing us to make intentional choices rather than reacting on autopilot.

One of my favorite breathing techniques is the four-seven-eight method. Inhale for four counts, hold for seven, and exhale for eight. Just a few rounds of this can reset the nervous system and promote a sense of calm and clarity.

By consciously incorporating breathwork into our daily routines, we can tap into the power of the parasympathetic nervous system, signaling to our bodies that we’re safe and allowing for logical, thoughtful responses rather than reactive ones.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or triggered, remember to take a few deep breaths and observe the profound shifts it can bring.

Want more tips for emotional regulation?

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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